today was a big day for me since i officially kick off the 2012 riding season by taking my motorcycle out of storage. actually with our non-existent winter i could've had my motorcycle out this whole time. i bet it'd snow big but i lost that wager. it's probably the latest i've taken out the bike in a long time; i'm actually not that looking forward to getting back on the honda. it's not the inherent danger of motorcycling that bothers me (although that's always in the back of my mind with 2 crashes under my belt); i just hate leaving it out on the street, exposed to both the elements and the varying ineptitude of parking neighbors. my riding principle for this season is to stop treating the bike like something venerated and see it more like a tool. i'll still cover it up when it rains, but i don't plan on selling it anytime soon, so i'm not going to baby it, afraid that i might detract from the resale value. bikes are meant to be riden, and this year i'm going to ride.
of course this is going to cut into my other riding schedule - my bicycle riding that is. bicycles are still good for short trips - within a few miles. but i can go a lot farther on the motorcycle. that arnold arboretum trip i was thinking about taking on friday? that was going to take me almost an hour via bicycle. but on a motorcycle? a bit more than 20 minutes. a bicycle keeps me trim though; a motorcycle can only make me fat.
in belmont i swiped the other pedal from the trek 820. some rust made it stick but nothing that a little triflow treatment can't break free. after cleaning the house yesterday, but mother can't seem to kick the cleaning bug and was outside sprucing up the area around the house in preparation for the exterminator coming wednesday afternoon. i tried watering the raised beds with a spray hose attached to the rain barrels but the water pressure is so low that it came out in a trickle at best. finally i ran out of patience and watered with the traditional hose. the rain barrels will be good later in the reason when the plants are fully grown and can be watered with an open hose (directly from the barrels); but for now since they're still seedlings it's better to use the regular hose from the faucet.
i had to wait until the late afternoon for my father to come home and help me get the motorcycle out of the garage. earlier i put in the battery that'd been slow-charging indoors. raised on a flat-bed jack, the bike must've leaned against the wall at some point and there was some scratch marks on the handlebar end. with the bike wheeled out into the driveway, we started it up the first time since this past january. with the choke fully engaged, we let the engine purr back to life before releasing the choke. i welcomed the sound and the smell. it'd been a few months and i was afraid i'd forgotten how to ride but it's second nature: squeeze the brakes, kick the pedal into first gear, release the brakes, give it some throttle.
riding a motorcycle is empowering, you just don't get the same feeling driving a car. with a car you're so far removed from the actual workings of the vehicle, it's like taking a ride in a little room. this isn't the case with a bike, where all your senses are engaged. people also notice you on a motorcycle that they wouldn't necessarily notice in a car.
even though i had some apple jacks cereal before i left my house and i told my mother i wasn't hungry, she still made a big plate of sausages, potatoes, and eggs in the afternoon, a late breakfast. i actually smelled it when i was outside watering the plants which naturally made me hungry. for dinner we some leftovers from last night's meal.
when it came time for me to go home, i was excited to take the inaugural ride of 2012 (though technically not true, since i put the bike away in storage in january). i had the foresight to bring my motorcycling windbreaker although i probably didn't need it with the windshield and the 57° air temperature. hills that i struggled with on a bicycle i now climbed effortlessly on the 750cc honda. cars were no longer passing me by as i could easily match their speed and overtake them. more bicyclists should give motorcycling a try, just to experience that joy of riding a 2-wheeled vehicle but with the power of a car.
finding parking is always an issue in my neighborhood, even on a motorcycle. with the condo construction on harris street and the somerville end of my road recently off limits to parking, there are even fewer spots than last year. ever since i've adopted a defensive parking strategy, i don't just wedge my bike in any old space, because there's a good chance somebody will hit it when they try to back out or move in. fortunately there was a good spot right in front of my house, too small for a car, more than enough for a motorcycle. after i finished taking a shower, i came back outside and put the rain cover on the bike. the odometer read 9222 miles.